Articles With the Tag . . . angler types

Angler Types in Profile: The Old Expert

Backed comfortably into a corner and sitting contently beside a crackling fireplace is the old expert. For sixty of his seventy-plus years, roaming the woods and water, he has fished for trout — fifty of those years with a fly rod, and thirty more dedicated to sharing his vast, accumulated knowledge.

The old expert helped shape an industry, but he remembers a time when there was no fly fishing industry — no fly shops or umbrella companies in a niche market, a time when a breathable raincoat meant unzipping at the collar and loosening the drawstrings of a yellow vinyl hood.

The old expert reminisces about flies purchased through a mail order catalog. Some were also selected from a cedar box, separated into four-inch-square bins inside a gas station that sold a handful of wet flies and two dries — one dark, one light, both #10 . . .

Angler Types in Profile: The Substitution Guy

. . . “Great. I have some ideas on how to make your fly better,” Bruce said flatly.

That stung a little too. What improvements are needed? I wondered while Bruce stashed my beloved streamer into his fly box. I watched until the end, until the shadow of the closing lid engulfed the mallard flank, and the glint from the copper conehead was no more. Farewell, good friend.

Seven days later, Bruce sent me photos of his “improved” version, noting that he’d substituted white for tan marabou, changed the collar dubbing to something “with necessary flash,” and added opal tinsel to the tail. “The fly just looks bare without it,” Bruce assured me. Accompanying the pics and descriptions of what he changed, Bruce ended with the following: “This spruced up fly gets a lot more attention!!”

Now how the hell does he know that, I wondered. It’s only been a week . . .

Angler Types in Profile: The I’ve been doing that forever guy

Fly fishing is full of it — full of anglers who take themselves too seriously, and full of others who support it. Everyone knows everything.

So as fly fishing churns out newish concepts like articulated streamers and euro nymphing, it’s no wonder there’s some resistance to it all. No wonder  at every turn we find guys with arms folded, shaking their heads and saying, “Nah, I’ve been doing that forever. . .”

Angler Types in Profile: Goldilocks

I have an old college buddy who won’t take the time to fish unless things are either perfect or damn close to it. I call him Goldilocks, and he hates me for it.

Last month, on a whim, I gave Goldilocks a ring. He’s one of the few people left who still answers his phone when you call, and he picked up within seconds.

“Hey. Want to fish tomorrow?” I asked quickly. I figured that rushing him into a decision was my best chance at the preferred result.

“Where? Up your way?” He asked.

“Yeah.”

“Didn’t you just get a pile of rain over the weekend?” He asked.

“Sure, but the creeks are coming down and the fishing has been fine,” I replied.

He paused and stammered for a moment. My fast pace was thrown off, and I already knew what was coming . . .

Angler Types in Profile: Goldilocks

Angler Types in Profile: Goldilocks

I just walked through the back door and into our air conditioned sunroom. Today is the fourth day of a hot and muggy week, and it finally feels like summer outside. So it’s nice to be out of the early afternoon heat for a while. Last night I set the alarm to rise...

Angler Types in Profile: The Rookie

Angler Types in Profile: The Rookie

Sam surprised me. “Let’s do it,” he blurted out when I answered the phone. “Let’s go fly fishing.” The way Sam spoke the sentence was already awkward, as though he was uncomfortable with the words themselves. He slowed down every time he put the word “fly” in front of...

Angler Types in Profile: The Numbers Guy

Angler Types in Profile: The Numbers Guy

I could barely make out the shape of a man fishing through the fog. A dense cloud hung over the water that morning, wrapping everything in a white shroud, and I felt water enter my lungs with every breath. Eventually, the rising sun punched holes through the white sheet, further decreasing visibility with mirrored reflections. Then within the next half hour, solar warmth provided enough heat to turn the big cloud into vapor. And as the fog dissipated over the river, Mike’s thin form came into view.

He moved like a machine in rhythm. He zigged and zagged across the pocket water, casting and catching, netting and releasing one trout after another. The machine paused to catch its breath only when Mike spent thirty seconds tying a knot. From my perspective downstream, it was perfection . . .

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